Stockholm: ambitious cuts

The 2012 budget for Stockholm announced a bold target of becoming free of fossil fuels by 2050. Analysts have reckoned that taking such steps to decarbonise the local economy, along with embracing other measures, could reduce total per capita GHG emissions from 3.4 tonnes in 2009 to 0.4 tonnes in 2050 – an 88 per cent cut.

Following this announcement, in 2014 the city released a ‘Roadmap for a Fossil Fuel-Free Stockholm 2050’. This lays out several alternative pathways, such as seeking to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by either 30 or 50 per cent, or emphasising different pillars of the ‘avoid–shift–improve’ paradigm in the transport sector. It further gauges the costs and benefits of those alternatives.

This analysis of alternative pathways is helping to inform the debate on the way forward. In 2015, Stockholm’s City Council adopted the more ambitious goal of becoming free of fossil fuels by 2040 – 10 years earlier than previously planned. A draft strategy to achieve that goal is currently under broad consultation, with a decision expected on or after September 2016.